This post was written by Shelby Carella
EAT DINNER WITH DONALD TRUMP: screamed the site, and it looked official.
At least that’s what several people who donated on the site to get a meal with Trump thought, and now they’re seeing red.
None of the money is going to Trump, and the guy nearly raised $1,000,000.
In just its first three weeks of operation, Hawes’ PAC spent more than $108,000 on Facebook ads, offering an opportunity to win “Dinner with Donald Trump” — and netted itself nearly $350,000 in donations, according to federal records.
The biggest chunk of the money raised — $133,000 — went to a company that Hawes founded and owns, CartSoft LLC. The purpose of the payments is described on federal records as “media” and “media purchasing,” though CartSoft’s website describes itself as an online payment-processing platform.
Since its launch, the PAC has collected more than $1 million, Hawes told POLITICO. It has reportedly spent $0 on behalf of Trump.
“I feel ripped off and taken advantage of. This is horrible. That was not my intent,” said Mary Pat Kulina, who owns a paper-shredding company in Maryland and gave $265 to Hawes’ group. Kulina thought she had given to Trump’s campaign until told otherwise by POLITICO. “This is robbery,” she said. “I want my money back and I want them to add up what they stole from people and give it to Donald Trump.”
How to get your money back?
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If people complain, Hawes said, “We’ll be happy to return your donations right away.” They had processed 110 refunds to date, he said. (Those who want their money back can email email@example.com.)